The Gray Area of Memorial Day
By Charles Clark
We went to a beautiful Memorial Day service this year and there have been moving events on TV. As a student of history I can’t help but notice there is such a move to erase anything about the Confederacy in America today.
It’s hard to get to the truth of real history. But some two dozen origin stories about Memorial Day exist. Most come from the South — Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi. Here’s one I was able to find.
According to the United States Library of Congress website, “Southern women decorated the graves of soldiers even before the Civil War’s end. Records show that by 1865, Mississippi, Virginia, and South Carolina all had precedents for Memorial Day.” The earliest Southern Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the dead and tend to local cemeteries. In following years, the Ladies’ Memorial Association and other groups increasingly focused rituals on preserving Confederate Culture and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy narrative.
There is no reason for Americans not to know this. Without judgement, just being aware of where we came from, how far we’ve come.